Thursday, August 12, 1999

Taft ducks water plan, groups say

Response: Pollution standards just slow

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Gov. Bob Taft broke a campaign promise to improve water pollution standards in southern Ohio, environmentalists said Wednesday, an allegation the administration denied.

        Ohio Citizen Action, the Ohio Environmental Council and other organizations want the state to extend pollution standards for waters draining from Lake Erie to the Ohio River Basin in the southern half of the state.

        The groups said Mr. Taft promised during last fall's gubernatorial campaign to let an advisory group consider standards adopted in October 1997 for Lake Erie waters.

        Without the standards, people and animals in southern Ohio are subjected to more toxins and cancer-causing agents, said Vicki Deisner, executive director of the Ohio Environmental Council.

        Scott Milburn, a spokesman for Mr. Taft, called the accusations unfortunate.

        He said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is waiting to hear from industries, cities and environmental groups about whether to issue standards now or wait until a process for implementing the standards has been established.

        Carol Hester, an EPA spokeswoman, said the agency has been directing its energies on establishing policies for other clean water standards mandated by law.

        “We have not shelved Ohio River Basin standards, we're just working on them at a slower pace,” she said.

        The environmental organizations also asked the state to reverse a policy that stopped the distribution this year of printed warnings about which fish are safe to eat.

        The Natural Resources Department had distributed the information since 1992 with fishing licenses, said Ray Petering, a spokesman for the Division of Wildlife. The information includes details about how to cook fish to limit exposure to toxic chemicals and which fish are unsafe to eat.

        Mr. Petering said the Health Department took over printing and distribution this year. Next year, the health and wildlife departments will produce the pamphlets together and make them available again with fishing licenses.


Fountain going under cover
Cross-river call will require extra digit
Making a silk purse from a cow's ear
Explosion causes Florence fire
Priest on leave, admits paternity
Aronoff charged with DUI in crash
City schools seek $24 million
Five more become ill from E. coli
Lakota adopts drug policy
Man dies of injuries in hit-skip accident
Mother convicted of deadly beating
Blood donations pick up
Girl admits at trial she lied about rape
Justin's parents drop suit
Man charged with pharmacy break-ins
Public housing made better
Controversial show brings in crowds
WLW crossed line
Bra straps have gone from taboo to trend
Villa Hills teen's violin soars
Ambulance use to cost nonresidents
Attempt to aid dog nets $100 ticket
Boone Co. prioritizes road projects
Clermont seeks bids on projects
Columbus police step up guard for Jewish games
County allots green for parks
County races to lay utility lines
Defendant convicted of legal sham
High temperatures could send students home early
Houston men charged in jewelry store burglary
Man convicted in second trial
Paintings stolen from downtown gallery
Residents want aquatic center
State may decide on district split
Still no clues in case of body found on farmland
Suit delays enforcement of state abortion law
- Taft ducks water plan, groups say
Thrill of flying found in rig
Township ponders how to fund police
Transit center final designs to be unveiled
'Trashtrap' boat cleans up Ky. lake
Two resisting term limits
Visit by principal can be fun